Sunday, August 26, 2007

Dental flossers and nose pickers - premcorrespondent

It’s thirty years ago now, but it feels like yesterday. I was at Nottingham Forest’s training ground interviewing Brian Clough, so I asked him what made his teams so successful. He put down his glass, more or less looked me in the eye and said, “Young Man – it’s all about good ‘abits”. And with that he was off to sign a couple more plug ugly Scotsmen, leaving me to cadge a fag off John Robertson and reflect on the great man’s wisdom.

Come the end of August, football teams good ‘abits start to shine through, so which clubs are the dental flossers and which the nose-pickers after this round of Premier League games.

Business as usual at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea’s habit of not losing at home continued as they beat Portsmouth one-nil to go top, which pleased (if not exactly entertained) the fans and left journalists wondering whether to bother going any more. At the Emirates, Little Cesc seems to have developed the excellent habit of scoring goals which will double the transfer fee next summer if it continues - his goal was enough to burst Sven’s bubble. Liverpool continue to kick off at times better suited to the first race at Haydock, but secured the win at soon-to-be-in-crisis Sunderland. Andriy Voronin continues to impress as much as his fellow Ukrainian at Chelsea doesn’t, although he does look like roadie at a Barbra Streisand concert – now there’s a singer.

Amongst the also-rans and no-hopers, Little Sam kept his job for another week with a 3-0 win against inconsistent Reading. Aston Villa climbed to tenth, where they will stay give or take a place for the next 34 games, with a late winner against 11 players I’ve never heard of representing Fulham. In the big game of the Championship season 2008-2009, Derby lost to Steve Bruce’s Birmingham at Pride Park. Alas at Upton Park instead of Chancery Lane, West Ham played out a predictable draw against Wigan, as the Hammers dutifully collect points now before Charltoning down the table after Christmas, before East End fervour kicks in to rescue them yet again. Uefa Cup place squabblers Everton and Blackburn drew 1-1 amidst more emotion at the finally doomed Goodison Park than a sports hack can describe.

I’d hardly tucked into the (British) steak and yorkshire pudding, before Big Sam’s Neaderthal cranium was filling the screen (and covering all those adverts behind it – Ha!) as he sent out his Geordie boys against whatever Middlesborough boys are called, for the dullest 2-2 I’ve ever seen. Middlesborough stay 16th where they appear to have been since being promoted.

In the last match of this long weekend, not-quite-in-crisis Manchester United gallantly refused to field any proper forwards, but were rewarded with a 1-0 win against going nowhere Spurs.

I’m spending the week watching the World Athletics Championships from Osaka, where I shall continue my lifelong study of the techniques employed in the women’s high jump and invest a little in buying the spread on doping disqualifications.


guitougoal said...

thanks premco, the "Neanderthalian" attribution to big Sam's head, that was cruel-
-Roy Kean visiting old trafford next week should be interesting but what about Everton.....are'nt you a die hard fan?

file said...

this is a riot pc, 'dental flossers and nose pickers' indeed, you could split the planet with that one

did you really interview BC? Was that when Forest trained in Clifton?

Teves' goal was really superb, deflecting the ball just enough, sheer brilliance.

gg said...

Yes, File, that's the mark of a class
striker, isn't it?

byebyebadman said...

I was at the United game today. Desperate but thrilling stuff.

Not sure if it was a penalty or not on Wes Brown but the Spurs players to a man went mental, which isn't always a good indicator as most footballers will appeal for anything but they were seething.

Nani's goal was real salt in the wound...but deflected off Tevez you say? Hmm, thunderous hit nonetheless. Of which (Tevez), for a lad who is supposed to be a bundle of energy and the embodiment of commitment, he didn't half spend a lot of the time standing idly offside with his hands on his hips. Obviously talented and hope he proves me wrong but have always felt we've signed the wrong forward in him.

United need Ronaldo, Saha and Rooney back quickly because as soon as they get to the edge of the area, the likes of Nani and Tevez check back out and play a safe five/ten yard pass. We are being shepherded away from the danger area too easily.

Still, pretty entertaining fare. Felt a bit cruel singing along to 'You'll get fired in the morning' but it's all part of the pantomime. Man of the match was Patrice Evra.

file said...


it is the sort of thing that happens to class strikers, from the TV replays it looks like Robinson might have got a hand to it otherwise, tho it was a powerful shot, maybe he wouldn't have stopped it...


looked like a pretty tense atmos there, for so early in the season

MotM said...

In an unprinted MBM e-mail, I suggested that had United lost, and Chelsea and Liverpool drew their match against each other, then United could win all four matches Home and Away against Benitez's and Mourinho's teams and, assuming the records of all three were the same in the matches against Arsenal etc, United would be relying on goal difference for the Title.

Amazing to think at this stage of the season that so much turned on one game, but I think a defeat would have meant United playing for second place and that's hardly to play for at all.

gg said...


we weren't bad las season when it came to goal difference.

Ebren said...

I only ever look at points difference, how many points behind are you and how many games to make them up. Especially games against the teams you are chasing.

No one is clear yet. And Big Sam still undefeated (I really want to be proved right on that one).

Robinson, regardless of the deflection, has been beaten so often from distance it's a real worry. He's just not good enough.

byebyebadman said...

File - it was unbearably tense, especially in the second half. The way the league is now ceding a seven/eight point advantage to your big rivals even at this early stage can seem unsurmountable.

That said, the explosion of joyous relief when that ball hit the back of the net was something very special.

A bit annoyed to read the Guardian's match report today having another needless pop at Ferdinand's concentration. He was excellent yesterday yet hacks continue to perpetuate this myth that he is a bone idle chav who has no focus on the game. It's getting ridiculous.

file said...

Rio had a good volley turned away too, he is starting to look a little less like he was wishing he was at the hairdressers

I think Teves will grow into the MU mold, he may not have 'clicked' yet, like he didn't click for ages at WHU, but I reckon him and SAFfa are good fit and the puce one will get the best from him

the balance between the 4 harbingers of the footalypse is so fine these days that they really need to hit the ground running like MU did and LFC didn't last season

but Torres and Voronin are both looking tasty and even Pennant seems to be vaguely prioritising the footie over the bling at the moment, Liverpool are going to be a force to be reckoned with this season is my forecast

talking of predictions, there have been so many, Ebren did you really predict that Newcastle will have an unbeaten season?

very brave

Ebren said...

Of course I did filo - and given my non-chronspeficity and the infinite scope of time I feel it would be ludicrous to predict that they would not have an unbeaten season.

The only real threats to this are global annihilation in the near future and historical determinism.

file said...

hmm, well that's cleared that up then

but even given the non-chronspecific nature of your prophecy and the (debatably) infinite scope of time I'd still give long odds on it coming to pass

in my ropy, unspectacular and unsubmitted piece 'The Toons; are they a changin'?' I reveal the depth of the gypsy curse therein

while I have some affection for the circus that is St.Toons's I do feel that we may have to wait for the post-infinite time time to see things turned around there

Big Sally's sick list is already starting to grow...

guitougoal said...

chronspecifity.... ??????
Damn! its getting harder and harder for me to read the pseuds cosmopolitan-erudite publication.

gg said...

United win at footy, then England win at cricket.

This is too much, far too much, for a simple professor of archeolinguistics.

guitougoal said...

the intelectuality of the blog is picking up and i am definitely left behind-
-I thought the topic was: dental floss and nose picking.

file said...


have you thought about getting a different job then?

guitou, bon courage mon brave

gg said...

guitou -

why not archeolinguistics on this very blog?

We suspect, for instance, that the renowned nasality of the French language is due to the people not thoroughly picking their noses at least three times a day.

file -

I think I will. Archeolinguistics has been digging its own grave for ages.

guitougoal said...

ah these french, they can't do it without 3 meals a day.

Margin said...

Dissapointed there was no mention of Mido's taunting by racist geordies. ("Mido - He's got a bomb you know") tuneless sods.

Oh - and which will come first - an unbeaten season or a trophy - for newcastle it has to be the first doesn't it?

Ebren said...

Egg, chicken, chicken, egg - Mmmm lunch...

file said...

hmm but...

rooster + prophylactic gypsy + chicken

= egg free omelette's and chicken free Kiev

= hungry Lord E

mimi said...

Lot's of injuries for the prem boys. Almost about as exciting as worrying if Colly will recover from his little tummy trouble.

munni said...

Am going to my first LA Galaxy game on Saturday, with my mother, who is visiting. She tends to ask things like, what's a corner? and, is Thierry Henry French? I think this time we shall tell her to make a list of questions, and we can go over them all at halftime. Unless of course the game is very boring.

mimi said...

I'm thinking a lot about the doping - can you be excluded for having too much single malt in your system?

munni said...

I don't like the term doping, I think it makes it sound like the athletes had something slipped into their food all unawares, and removes accountability. But as far as I know single malt isn't a banned substance, I hope?

guitougoal said...

I'll be at the galaxy, pachuca game tomorow night.

guitougoal said...

I mean tonight, sorry.

mimi said...

I'm about to have too much single malt - by choice, but only cos I'm a bit poorly and toddies are what we do in Scotland. Should I be excluded from the blog for this? Drug-testing is a wild world.

file said...

munni, guitou,

have a great time among all the stars in the Galaxy's own home depot centre, you might even be able to pick up a bag of nails!

offsideintahiti said...


if you mean Posh, isn't the expression "a bag of bones"?

guitougoal said...

about a bag,
Beckham is the one who should pick up his bag, go home , nurse his injuries and take as much time than needed.
He is playing unfitt and injured, the galaxy management is so desperate to show him to the fans they are ruining his carreer-
30 minutes into the game with pachuca in a meaningless tournament he strained his right knee.
All in all, it was a night to forget at the home depot center-I went there with low expectation I should say high expectation of lousy football because I saw them in spring play chivas-But I was curious about the beckham circus and a circus it was-It was a football game only 20 minutes into the second half concluded by a spectacular goal (bicycle kick) from Galaxy-
Otherwise it's a big mess, they stage the game like a champion league final with fireworks, cheerleaders, hundred of the media people and several TV chanels on the side-lines for a team playing a very poor quality football,(they can't pass, dribble or shoot)-and a star player who is forced to play with a very bad ankle-
This process is shoking because they try to promote a sport at the same time they are turning it into a comedy show- I understand the concept of marketing but if there is no product , marketing it's a waist of time and money if you don't have the right product--
If Galaxy was willing to spend 150 millions dollars they should have built a team of quality players instead to spend it all on one who unfortunately is "damaged good"
In fact they are overpromoting one of the worst product in the world:MLS.

offsideintahiti said...

Cheers for the report, Guitou.

Did anybody check out the racism-in-football thread on GU?

Absolutely unbelievable. The first part is really tedious, but there are quite a few gems in the last 100 posts or so. You can do a search on "camus", "sartre", "nietzsche" to see what I'm on about. If you have time to spare, of course.

guitougoal said...

of course,
serious subject calls forr serious attention and I tried my best.

offsideintahiti said...

I don't know about "serious", I was trying to inject a bit of humour in there, pretending to mis-hear the chant as "Miro's got a bomb". But either it was not funny at all, or the moderators think humour is a serious offence...

guitougoal said...

yes I got that but this is why I went so adapted to pomp and circumstances...instead to throw the usual shit .ignoring the course and developing the subject as a major moral philosophical concept.... Comod is totally in shock to see my name attached to a serious piece....until file comes along then I could be easily mentally disturbed again...

Tweet it, digg it